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January 23, 2022

Public school teachers across the region are on strike today

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Hundreds of public school teachers and principals across the Northern Rivers are on strike today (Tuesday December 7) over what they say is the Government’s failure to address unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries which are contributing to growing shortages of teachers.

‘This will be the first 24 hour stoppage in a decade and it reflects the gravity of the situation we find ourselves in,’ NSW Teacher’s Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said.

‘The Perrottet Government is refusing to listen to the warnings of its own education department that the unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries of teachers are contributing to growing shortages and turning people off teaching.

Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos: Photo Facebook.

‘This is about the future of the teaching profession and the quality of education children receive. No student should miss out because of a lack of teachers, but this is what is going to increasingly happen across NSW if the government fails to act.’

Mr Gavrielatos said principals and teachers did not take the decision to strike lightly.

‘Over the course of the last 18 months we have exhausted all options available to us to arrive at a negotiated settlement with the government.

‘But the government’s position has been fixed from day 1. They won’t budge from a one-size-fits- all 2.5% wages cap despite their own education department’s warning that teacher shortages exist because other careers pay more competitive salaries.’

Meanwhile, the NSW Department of Education said it was working to minimise the impact of the strike on students’ learning and wellbeing, while also supporting essential workers.

It said a majority of schools across the state would remain open with supervision for students, and parents had been informed where schools would not be open. Those students would have access to learning from home material.

Education Secretary Georgina Harrisson said she understood the frustration of families and the industrial action capped off a difficult year for many parents and carers.

‘I want to reassure parents that we are doing all we can to ensure learning continues without disruption – especially given the challenges students, teachers and families have experienced this year,’ Ms Harrisson said.

The department has called on the Federation and its members to comply with the Industrial Relations Commission’s (IRC) order and not strike.

‘The Department is still negotiating with the Federation on their claims and the place for this is in the IRC.”

The Federation needs to come back to the table and engage in good faith with the negotiating process.”

Ms Harrisson also called on the Federation to ‘engage with the public more honestly’.

‘The Federation has made a number of claims in the lead up to this action that are misleading or simply untrue,’ she said.

‘All organisations have vacancies and the vacancy rate in NSW for teachers is at a low level for an organisation of our size. A vacancy in a school is covered by a casual or temporary teacher and does not mean a class is without a teacher.’


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Teachers are cross with the government. The government won’t come across with any money.
    Across the Northern Rivers, hundreds of public school teachers and principals will strike today (Tuesday December 7) over what they say is the Government’s failure to address unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries that are contributing to growing shortages of teachers.
    When shortages are rife there is a multiplication sum that follows. Teaching becomes harder as there are more pupils per class, meaning the teaching method has to be more exact and pronounced to get what is to be taught across into each head at each chair and table. The student, being young and growing and unstable then becomes fidgety and chews gum or looks out the window, or they chat to the student to the side. Teaching become unmanageable, diaorgansised and more complicated than it should be. This predicament then becomes a disruption and stress begins to rise in students and in the teacher.
    The student goes home and as he goes into his house his mum looks over her shoulder and says “Hi, whatdidyalearntoday?”
    He looks to the ceiling and says “Um er, whatdiddilearntoday? Er um er Idunno, I’veforgot.”

  2. When the teachers social agenda is terminated and we get back to basics as a foundation for future careers – I say give the minority of top teachers a huge $pa increase, to prevent Australia/NSW falling further behind in global education-score assessments.

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